By Joseph Green-Bishop
Three of the former Memphis, TN police officers charged with second-degree murder in the death of a 29-year-old resident of that city have been dismissed from the international fraternity in which they were members, according to a letter received by Texas Metro News.
In the January 31, 2023 dated letter, the International Grand Basileus (president) of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Ricky L. Lewis, extended the sympathies of the organization to the family and friends of Tyre Nichols who was fatally beaten by the officers, according to body camera footage released by the Memphis Police Department.
“The fraternity has revoked the memberships of the three former officers,” Lewis wrote in the letter. “The brutality shown in the video violated our moral sensibilities.”
The former officers are: 24-year-old Tadarrius Bean, 30-year old Demetrius Haley, and 30-year-old Emmitt Martin III.
Attempts to reach the national headquarters, located in Decatur, GA, were unsuccessful.
The organization Lewis leads was founded at Howard University in 1911. It has chapters throughout the country and the world. Its members include academics, lawyers, doctors, educators, business people, athletes, and members of the clergy; including Rev. Jesse Jackson, Atty. Ben Crump, NBA greats Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal, comedians Steve Harvey and Rickey Smiley, media titan Tom Joyner, actors Bill Cosby and Anthony Anderson, U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, and Kweisi Mfume, TX State Senator Royce West, and Hon. Minister Louis Farrakhan.
Omega Psi Phi has a number of programs designed to improve living conditions in low-to-moderate income communities, and encourages young people to pursue college educations. Many of the chapters have programs in which members act as advisors for young men. Most of its members join while students at four-year colleges and universities.
According to Lewis, the organization has been positively involved in the Memphis community.
“We strongly condemn the conduct of the former Memphis police officers,” Lewis wrote, adding that the actions of the former officers violated the organization’s written code of conduct. “We fervently pray that the Nichols family will obtain justice.”